Dvorana Tri lilije, visitors: 3000
The basketball club KK Pivovarna Laško was established in the year 1969. During the initial years the Club was competing under the name KK Laško, which was in the year 1972 changed to KK Zlatorog Laško. In 1994 the Club got its today's name KK Pivovarna Laško – the Pivovarna Laško Basketball Club. A year before that the town Laško started the construction of a new modern sports hall which prompted rapid expansion of basketball in the town. The Management also renewed the playing potential of the Club, and in the season 1995/96, after two years of competing in the 1B Division the long lasting dream came true: the Club qualified to the First National Basketball League. Mr. Aleš Pipan replaced the former coach Andrej Žagar, and on the other hand, the players headed by Matjaž Tovornik were joined by new reinforcements, among them Mileta Lisica.
The very first season in the First National League was concluded in the incredible 3rd place which qualified the Club for the European Cup competition. At the beginning of the season the Club acquired Ervin Dragšič and Miljan Goljović.
In the season 1997/98 the Club repeated its ranking in the National Championship, and qualified in the National Cup Finals which was lost against Union Olimpija in a rather equal game. In the European Cup Competition the Club competed in the group with Fenerbahce from Istambul, LeMans, Broceni from Riga, Slask from Wroclaw and ICEC, and finished the qualification games in the 1/16 finals, when the Team was defeated by Tofas from Bursa.
The season 1998/99 was by all means the most successful one so far. On the domestic scene the Club completely matched the potential of the leading domestic club who was already well established in the European competitions, and qualified for both the Playoff and the Cup finals. Games in the Saporta Cup were the story if its own! The Club surprised the complete European basketball public with outstanding games which brought them the right to compete in the most elite club competition in Europe, the Euro League. As it turned out it was the last competing season of the most prominent European clubs under the FIBA flag. This was the best birthday present for the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Club. After the sensational victory over AEK from Athens the Club defeated the Polish champion Slask from Wroclaw the French club Cholet Basket. This took them to the quarter finals where they had to yield to the famous ARIS from Greece, mostly because of a rather moderate game played in Greece.
The season 1999/2000 was extremely hard, but it also meant the final establishment of the Pivovarna Laško Basketball Club on the European scene. To support the fact, the Club was granted the organization of the European Cadet Basketball Championship. In the Euro League the Club competed in the group with the Italian champion Varese Roosters, Maccabi from Tel Aviv, ASVEL from Villeurbane, Olympiakos from Piraeus and Ulker from Istanbul. They defeated the Greeks and the Turks and proved that their placement in the League was not accidental. In the second round the opponents were Cibona from Zagreb, Paf from Bologna and Efes Pilsen from Istanbul. This was a further promotion and an important experience for the Club.
On the national arena the Club displayed the best games so far, and ended the regular part of the Championship at the first place. Union Olimpija from Ljubljana was defeated three times in a row! This effective finish of the regular part of the season fuelled the hopes of Aleš Pipan and his Club for the final victory in the playoffs, but in the last game before the playoffs the injuries of three key players, Lisica, Hafnar and Nachbar, abruptly terminated the dreams about the champion title. In the playoff finals against Krka Telekom the players demonstrated an enthusiastic fight, but they ran out of luck and the Championship was finished at the second place.
In the Cup Finals the Club played once more against Union Olimpia, but it seems that that the pressure of playing in the overcrowded domestic hall Tri Lilije was too big for them to succeed.
The Club underwent sizeable changes at the end of the season. The Head Coach Aleš Pipan was replaced by Mr. Boris Zrinski, who was also the head coach of the National Selection.
Several players left the Club, among them Goljović (Ülker), Hafnar, Kunc, Žarković and Nachbar (Benetton Treviso, Huston Rocket). The performances of new recruitment, with the exemption of Slavko Duščak, were not satisfactory. Senior selection was also joined by a group of junior players Dunovič, Fantinatto, Hudohmet, Ambrož and Djulović. The National Championship was concluded at 4th place, and in the National Cup the Club was eliminated in the quarter-finals. In the Saporta Cup the Club did not qualify among the 16 best. Due to such modest performance the Management of the Club decided to renew the team with younger players, so Lisica (Le Mans), Dragšič (Le Mans), Eržen (Triglav), Udrih (Geoplin Slovan), Ovčina (Bonn Telekom) and Nakić left the Club.
The position of Head Coach was taken by Mr. Predrag Kruščić, an expert from Split, and Mr. Ante Perica became his Assistant. The captain of the team became Goran Jurak who is now surrounded with a group of young players. There were also changes in the management: after 22 years of heading the Club (since 1979) the former President Jože Sadar handed his position over to Boško Šrot, while the new Chairman of the Management Board is Miro Firm. Unfortunately, both playmakers Goran Jurak (Union Olimpija) and Slavko Duščak (Krka) left the team after the season was over, so that the Board, together with the coach, had to form a new team. In addition to the above mentioned players Lerić, Vujičić, Walker, Novak and Djulović also left the team. Ambrož and Tilinger are lent to Trbovlje and Bajramović to Austrian Kapfenberg.
New players in the team are Radek Nečas, Ermal Kuqo, Dragan Dojčin, Primož Kobale, Edwin Daniels, Zvonimir Kovačević and Kenyan Weaks. The average age of the team is less than 22 years and according to the »experts« at least as strong as the last year’s one and even more attractive due to both Americans.